shutterstock_210713560Since July 1, 2001, Missouri law with respect to non-solicitation clauses has been fairly straightforward.  Specifically, § 431.202 of the Missouri Statutes states that a covenant not to solicit between an employer and an employee is presumed reasonable if it is no longer than one year in duration and designed to protect confidential information, customer relationships, and/or good will. Section
Continue Reading Missouri Legislator Introduces Bill to Ban Restrictive Covenants

Don’t want to sign that new non-compete agreement that your employer just rolled out? Unempoyment compensation may be an option at least according to one new court decision.

An employee does not necessarily forfeit unemployment compensation if he or she is discharged, or resigns rather than waiting to be discharged, for declining to sign a mandated restrictive covenant.  Darr v.
Continue Reading Unemployment Compensation Awarded To Ex-Employee Refusing Employer’s Order To Execute Non-Compete Covenant

A recent Missouri federal court decision highlights the different standards that courts employ in evaluating forfeiture-for-competition provisions contained in stock option plans. 

Summary.  Many courts testing the validity of a contractual forfeiture-for-competition provision use a “reasonableness” standard.  Recently, however, a Missouri district court judge aligned himself with the minority view and held that regardless of whether the provision in an
Continue Reading Missouri Federal Court Finds Forfeiture-For-Competition Provision in Stock Option Agreement Enforceable

Affirmative defenses and compulsory counterclaims.  In many instances, the consideration for an ex-employee’s non-compete and non-solicitation covenants was new or continued employment.  If the former employer then breaches the employment contract — for example, by failing to pay all of the compensation and benefits to which the ex-employee was entitled — but nevertheless sues the ex-employee in an effort to
Continue Reading Pleading Former Employer’s Breach Of Employment Contract: Affirmative Defense Or Counterclaim To Suit For Violating Non-Compete And Non-Solicitation Covenants?

By Robert Milligan and Grace Chuchla

It’s 8,242.7 miles or a 17 hour flight between the Philippines and Missouri.  Nobody would dispute that this is a significant distance, but as far the Eastern District of Missouri is concerned, forcing a defendant who lives in the Philippines to participate in litigation occurring in Missouri does not constitute an unfair or unreasonable
Continue Reading Federal Court Requires Foreign Resident To Litigate Non-Compete Dispute in Missouri Based Upon Forum Selection Clause

By Paul Freehling and Joshua Salinas

A recent Missouri federal court opinion describes an almost unbelievable scenario. Employees signed well-drafted employment agreements — containing such provisions as non-competition, confidentiality, promise of loyalty, and commitment to return employer’s property within 24 hours of termination of employment — and then incorporated and operated a competitor company while still employed. Moreover, they transferred
Continue Reading Missouri Federal Court Finds Violations of Employment Agreement May Constitute Unlawful Access Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

By Robert Milligan and Grace Chuchla

The Missouri Supreme Court recently issued a decision, Whelan Security Co. v. Kennebrew, et al., 2012 Mo. LEXIS 167, reaffirming Missouri as a pro non-compete jurisdiction for employers.

The Court’s decision makes clear that Missouri courts applying Missouri law will enforce non-competition and customer non-solicitation and employee non-solicitation agreements that are reasonable and
Continue Reading Missouri Supreme Court Reaffirms That Missouri Is A Pro Non-Compete Jurisdiction, Enforcing Non-Competition and Modified Non-Solicitation Agreements Against Non-Resident Former Security Company Employees

Three years after entering into an oral subscription agreement relating to a specially designed, copyrighted internet-based computer software program, the subscriber stopped paying the required monthly fees.  The reason, according to a 10-count federal court complaint, is that the subscriber modified the source code by copying it onto the subscriber’s own server and thereafter used the unauthorized version.  This allegedly

Continue Reading Missouri Federal Court Denies Summary Judgment Motion Finding Disputed Issue On Whether Trade Secret Exists Notwithstanding Lack of Confidentiality Agreements and Partial Disclosure to Copyright Office

In Lasco Foods, Inc. v. Hall and Shaw Sales, Marketing & Consulting, LLC, 600 F. Supp. 2d 1045 (E.D. Mo. 2009), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri dismissed an employer’s claim that two former employees violated the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1030, et seq., by deleting information from

Continue Reading District Court Rejects Employer’s Attempt to Use the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act against Former Employees